The first hearing of the year for the Senate Agriculture Committee focused on climate change. Members of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, including the American Farm Bureau, National Farmers Union and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, testified during the hearing. Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow asked Oklahoma Farmers Union member Clay Pope how the committee could use the conservation title of the farm bill and other existing authorities to help tackle the climate challenges. Pope said the first place to start is allocating more funds to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, then, fully funding EQIP and CSP programs. “Maybe lawmakers consider how to create a program that pays producers based on their stewardship. Stepping away from the conservation title, I think having solid risk management tools will be important, like crop insurance.”
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